This new Working Cats x Shinjuku Ward campaign clip draws from cuteness for coronavirus preventive measures.

With the important new year’s holiday just around the corner, now is a particularly important time for Japanese people to remain vigilant about wearing their masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. A new Twitter campaign born of a collaboration between the popular Working Cats online characters and Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward has just been released to remind people to stay safe this season.

First, a little background: Working Cats are the creation of Japanese illustrator Kumamine. They gained popularity over the Internet about two years ago and are easily recognizable for their penchant for wearing hard hats and their catchphrase of Yoshi!, which is a Japanese interjection meaning something along the lines of Yeah!” “We’ve got this!” or “Let’s do this!” Whoever enlisted their help for this new campaign was certainly on to something–after all, who wouldn’t be more easily swayed to follow safety precautions when the request comes from some feline friends, those darlings of the Internet?

Here’s the campaign tweet from Shinjuku Ward’s official account:

The short video begins with two Working Cats wearing their masks improperly until a “Stop there!” whistle sounds and they sheepishly don their face coverings correctly. Next, who should appear in a silly pose alongside the illustrated cats but Kenichi Yoshizumi, the head of Shinjuku Ward himself. He remarks that the coronavirus has been spreading quickly among young people in the area and garners sympathy by stating how much he also misses going out to drink at this time before asking for everyone’s cooperation in wearing their masks. The video ends with the campaign’s hashtag and catchphrase of #maskyoshi (#マスクヨシ) for a fun end of the year and start of the new year.”

On a side note, this isn’t the first time that Yoshizumi has appealed to the masses using pop culture. In 2015, he declared Godzilla to be the official tourism ambassador of Shinjuku upon the unveiling of the giant Godzilla statue on a local building. We do have to wonder if the charismatic kaiju will be next on the mayor’s list when enlisting partners for tackling the coronavirus.

Source: Twitter/@Shinjuku_info via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@Shinjuku_info
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